Adapting studio recordings in a live environment, with use of a loop pedal is going to be fun and experimental. Capturing the essence, the hooks, raw energy and the vibrations.
Here are a few videos of Claudine in rehearsal
Hand Pan Drum
The event will feature the followingRetail stands ~ Fair trade and ethically sourced ~ Aura camera ~ Astrology ~ Books ~ Tarot and Oracle Cards ~ Authors ~ Nutrition Supplements ~ Natural products ~ Skincare and Cosmetics ~ Essential Oils ~ Clothing and Accessories ~ Homeware gifts ~ Incense and burners ~ Wax melts and Candles ~ Jewellery ~ Hand crafted ~ Art ~ Meditation ~ Self Help ~ Rock Salt products and therapies ~ Crystals, Minerals, Carvings ~ Franchise Information ~ Hypnosis ~ Retreats ~ Shamanic items ~ Past Life Regression ~ Spiritual Counsellors Therapies: Indian Head Massage ~ Seated Acupressure Massage ~ Reflexology ~ Reiki ~ Colour & Chakras ~ Spiritual Healing
Demonstrations of Tai Chi and Yoga for all abilities and ages
Live stage performances of music and song
A truly family friendly event, with a Kids Korner providing activities for children to enjoy
Visitors can spend time at the show and leave inspired with ideas of how to become a ‘well being’
Welcome to this journey. Music to be mindful, meditate and chill out to. This was an adventure abundant year in the making. A musical travelogue. Time flows as we capture elements of our life, loves, experiences, states of being. Multi-Instrumentalist Claudine West (aka Earth Tree Healing) releases her 7th instrumental New Age recording via digital stores on 30th May 2018. The name Candle Gardeners came quite suddenly during a celebration of Samhain in 2017. A year in the making. The journey, inspirations and concept created on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu. CA. Wales and Glastonbury, England. This 12-track album explores ethereal places of musical ascension. Starting by the coast. ‘Overture of Oceans’ introduces the album. Explore sonic sunny rambles with ‘Glastonbury’ then wake with the mellow golden dawn of ‘Eos.’ Chill out to ‘Summerland.’ The upbeat ‘Green Man’ sparkles and indulges. ‘Namaste’ is an evolving improvisation with Sitar. The hypnotic refreshing heartbeat and simple piano of ‘Mercury In Retrograde’ gently prepares you for the meditative ‘Doom Mons’ and 25 minute track ‘Realms.’ We then embark on the final 3 introducing the waking rhythms of ‘Illumine’ and ‘Lithosphere.’ The finale wildfire is ‘Diablo Winds.’
The name Candle Gardeners came quite suddenly during a celebration of Samhain in 2017. I was in Wales with Family. We had prepared the table in the Blue Room for our feast of honouring our ancestors. We lit candles for loved ones and were in and out of the room bringing food. I was tasked to guard the candles. It then happened upon us all the ‘garden’ them. Divination, laughter, affirmations and a noisy hamster wheel via Skype followed. Our circle..The Candle Gardeners. This had been the place where Ange and I had been Hand Fasted on April 1st 2011. The place of magic, where the Green Man and wood nymphs roam. Watching over with blessings. There is a strong possibility of the presence naughty faeries too. (The ones that nicked all of our tea spoons last year!) Thanks for giving me back my cowbell you pesky little ones. I need it for gigs!
Earlier on October 15th 2017. I had stood upon the golden sands of Zuma Beach, Malibu. Watching the Pacific Ocean waves.
Track 1: Overture Of Oceans. I have a true love for the sea, the healing, new beginnings. An indulgence of wonderful negative ions. That feeling good experience that revitalizes ones being. Freedom as the waves crescendo on the shore, a vast open expanse of well being. The danger in one moment, that might just swallow you into the deep blue. The recreation of that feeling musically begins this album. See more blogs of the trip to California. I could and would live here. https://wordpress.com/view/claudsville.wordpress.com
Track 2 (recorded 17.03.18 is simply the beautiful guitar and piano of ‘Candle Gardeners.’ It was the last track and 13th recorded. My album theme tune.
Full video playlist making of Candle Gardeners featuring more videos.
Track 3: Glastonbury. Waking up to birdsong on sunny fresh morning gazing at the Glastonbury Tor. I grabbed my phone and captured the summertime. It’s a magical place. Somerset is a beautiful County. I love the vibes. It’s also a place where we could live. This is inspiring in itself. Creating this track, creating the balance of natures music, with variety and feel of the instruments. Acoustic guitars and flute compliment piano arpeggios. I used an accordion that I bought from a car boot sale in Colwick, Nottingham.
Track 4: Eos. The Greek Goddess of Dawn. To become witness to the absolute wonder and beauty of sunrises over and over is one of life’s many pleasures. When each day awakens.. new opportunities for a blissful existence arise. great for yoga and meditation practice. Chasing sunsets draws me into the woods and flourishing skyline adventures.
Track 5: Summerland. During my first past life regression, described in my Kindle book Claudsville Blogs and Bio of a Bog Woppit I glimpsed a moment in time where I stood gazing upon corn fields. With an electric blue sky and a breeze shimmering. I felt content and accomplished. I felt peace. We arrive at the Summerland. We remember the Summerland. In the afterlife, rapture, blessed be. The music to travel to your places and explore the serenity. I recorded the video on a train travelling back from Wales January 2018.
Track 6: Green Man. It is thought his image was the medieval bridge between Paganism. and Christianity. Our foliage faced Pagan nature spirit. Symbolizing rebirth, spring. I see him as the ‘daddy of the woods.’ Growing up in Nottinghamshire with the Legend of Robin Hood and The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. Wood nymphs run riot, beheaded vegetation deities, nature is a beautiful thing. What flowed when I composed this was a mandolin menstruation. A fast strum to the beat of a bodhran. I then planted different seeds to grow. The Green Man to me watches over. Lives in the wild abandon. Often glimpsed but ever present. I’d painted him a number of years ago on a box for the Daughter of friends.
Green Man will have its full unveiling upon release. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Track 7: Namaste. Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. A venture into the sitar. I’ve got a beautiful old one from India with a history that dates back decades. How better to honour it with the welcome of Namaste. Starting off on Kalimba. I added an autoharp. This track was Improvised. The spark in sunshine. The limes in a tree. It’s quite a citrine blossom with differing shades of wild orange. I’ve had dreams, meditations and vision during Reiki attunements of temples…floating.
Track 8: Mercury in Retrograde. Spells trouble, trauma for some of us. It certainly meant trying times for us in 2017. Once acknowledged though, one works through it and come out the other end wiser even if a little peeved. I’d been working on a piano riff. The original recording went a bit haywire in my studio. Nothing would sync to it for no apparent reason. I profess not to be a sound engineer. More of a multi-instrumentalist that puts a jigsaw of instruments together. The riff became quite fitting and a reflection of this time.
Now your journey moves into unadulterated relaxation. Lay back, meditate, practice mindfulness, yoga.. dream…
Track 9: Doom Mons. Titan. The largest moon of the planet Saturn. The largest mountain range. I recorded binaural beats and with a setting the turning to God frequency 432hz. This is consistent with the vibrations, patterns and mathematics of the universe. Ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the pyramids reflect the number 432 as the ratio to the sun, earth and moon. Article here There is a subtle difference for listener exploration into Zen compared to 440hz music. At this point on the album it is time to drift off into the cosmos.
Track 10: Realms. 25 minutes of frequency 432hz. Imagine a breeze, imagine a moment. Imagine a horizon. And… relax, meditate, practice yoga, mindfulness, connection.
Track 12: Lithosphere The crust and upper mantle of the Earth. Armed with a flask of tea by the lake. We connect to the earth, the crust. Observing the wonder of the sky and the sunrise.
Track 13: Diablo Winds
I was in San Francisco, October 2017 during the wildfires, the fear, the tragedy, the smoky air, watching it live on the news. Unprecedented destruction. I wanted to capture quickening, the forces of nature…I’ll never forget the burning..thoughts, prayers and healing. Trees are born in fire…
Track 13 (recorded 17.03.18 is simply the beautiful guitar and piano of ‘Candle Gardeners’
Full video playlist making of Candle Gardeners featuring more videos.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Making Candle Gardeners. It was a more ‘go with the green, the flow and the rhythm indulgence. Sessions and my creative juices have been so productive during the winter darkness, Vitamin D supplements and Chai Tea. That I’m now halfway thought recording ‘Reiki’ which will be released on July 1st 2018. The commitment to a track a weekend is a welcome release from a stressful and exhausting 6 months in the NUH day job. Summer is coming…..
Claudine West Music/ Earth Tree Healing links
Check out my other albums.. 8 Sabbats, Archangel Divination 2, The Journey, Archangel Divination, Citadel, Meditation Chronicles.
When the Sun reaches highest in the sky. We celebrate Midsummer. Litha. The Summer Solstice is a beautiful time. Gatherings, celebrations, rituals.
Yesterday (13th May 2017) I began writing and recording my new Earth Tree Healing album. Called ‘8 Sabbats.’
The music journeys through the sunrise to a crescendo of celebration. This album will feature a lot more acoustic instruments such as the sitar, mandolin, autoharp and my guitars. Getting back to my roots. Which began with folk, evolving to Grunge and beyond with the influence of the 80’s. I’ve found my Zen with Paganism, Mother Earth, Spirituality, Meditation and Reiki.
I’m releasing this as a single on digital stores June 3rd. Enjoy. Claudine.
I own a beautiful old Sitar from India. I recorded this track ‘Namaste.’ As an Improvisational piece. Its really quite challenging, but also fun to capture and video the multi-track recording process. Camera tripod collapses and cups of Chai tea. I indulge, meditate and drift in to my Earth Tree Healing music. Each track leave me (and I hope my listeners with a sense of wellbeing) – Enjoy
To swear on air. That was a bloody good ‘straight after work’ vocals recording sesh. After leaving to breathe… The McGuigan coated throats just enough for a velvet vintage performance. Now for Rugby (and a big well done to England Yesterday winning the Six Nations) & Pizza with Wifey. Well done Mr Paul Phillip Johnson.
With a pretty great music ‘information gathering’ week in the bag. Networking a go go. We all feel a refreshed reiteration on how to move the music of Strange Currencies into the universe a little better. With a Nusic Academy Q&A hosted by Mark Del at Nottingham Trent Student Union. Featuring on the panel John Kennedy from Radio X, Kate Holder, Producer for Huw Stephens for the BBC, Eleanor Goodman, currently features Editor at Metal Hammer from and Jamz Supernova from BBC Radio 1Xtra. Being a musician and not a savvy Radio Plugger, promoter. Well not yet… In this day and age. Listening to some valuable tips via iTunes podcasts on the bus to work has been enlightening. Some things are obvious. Some are ‘Aha’ moments. Some are well ‘why do that as I would not..?’ But play guitar with the suggested chord formations. You might just have a tune. With stalls, advice and networking with local promoters I’m Not From London. It was a productive meet and greet.
One of the funniest moments from the Nusic sesh involved as question about visual media eg band photos. Eleanor Goodmans sound advice.. Don’t do photos of bands in front of walls or forests. As its ‘soooooo very unoriginal’ had us laughing out loud. You had to be there! ‘Wanky Cocks’ against depressing backdrops in a nutshell. Its quite possibly 50 shades of grey with arrogance and unoriginality.
A few pre mastered CD promos featuring a few songs were handed out. Some more seed planted from out underground greenhouse.
After finding Bridget Jones’s Baby funnier than expected. Pissing at the one liner “It’s a big wanking bomb Viv” in No Offence, a heart stopping episode of The Walking Dead, season 7 this week. When we thought Rick Grimes was zombie pate. Some really weird dreams followed by milking squids. The question begs… Is it better to gain musical success from your own talent and creating what you love. Thank pulling in favours in Whoreland?
Then at the weekend… a band injury.. I’m recovering with a sore upper bingo wing, being burned by an oven tray full of bacon, I’m still not sure how i managed it at that angle. Maybe….(for album pre release publicity) A unicorn self combusted its horn. Then decided to compete in the winter Olympics while applying lippy. Bought a Moped and then travelled Thelma and Louise style to Balmoral. Later recording an album likened to ‘Rumours.’ Shagged a pony. Had an affair with and antelope. Found an ice pop. Snorted Kryptonite. Went on a cruise with Jane McDonald, burst into song, with a distinct blurred lens. Then trained as a butcher, opened a shop. Decided to become vegan. Discovered that vegetables have feelings too. Went batshit crazy apeshit. Read up on mind control and possession. Did a bit of hocus pocus. Found out the Reptilians wanted to recruit. Found me and did this in the night. Ok ED and James. Your beautiful oh little scar scar.
Recording the album ‘Making Monsters’
It was PP Johnson lead vocals and Claudine West backing vocals of something very beautiful for the album tonight. Take this one to your church. This Girl is understanding.
Album is coming together pretty good. It eclectic! Grunge, country, ballad, Blues, Dance, Pop and more.
So as we depart into the weekend between the day jobs. We are happy. Excited and content and a little tipsy. Rehearsals with the full band commence next week. Good times for Strange Currencies. Great year ahead.
PP Johnson and I are working on and writing songs. We will be demoing while recruiting the final line up. New projects keep the fulfillment and variety. One gets ask what this band’s sound gonna be? Well under the umbrella of Rock. But not like the last bands I’ve been in. The freedom and ability to be creative, experiment, indulge is a fine thing.
As the new Strange Currencies official website and social media evolves. We will put up videos, blogs etc.
We are working on Unusual Haunts:
Compare once the band version is done.
and the instrumental
Vocals ripsaw into the essence of vibrations. With the stunning raw vocals and passion of PP Johnson. Blues/Rock/Funk drumming of Claudine West (Multi-Instrumentalist extraordinaire) Songwriting talents that produce things from the dark, the light and in between. Strange Currencies are the band that you always wanted to be in.. Sweetness follows..
Bear with….To construct and deconstruct an idea is one of the most rewarding things a songwriter and musician does. The aftermath is a performance of said idea. The recording and capture.
There are many ‘jukebox’ bands and artists that simply cover others good work, some do it well. Some are cringeworthy. I’m sure there are lots of talented musicians that are visual iTunes mini players. Its super duper some make a fair living off performing week in week out. Nice! Hobbies are fun aren’t they? Familiarity favours applause. When attending a recent event. Comments were made that did not favour original bands. A moan at the lack of ‘covers.’ (3 words for you Sunshine. 1. Hung 2. Drawn. 3. Quartered) I love watching bands. Being in this one (Subway Circus) we do a reworked version of Mad World. We have our guilty indulgences too.
Having seen The Cultlive recently (29th March, Rock City, Nottingham). I think I’ll leave it at that.
Copying is flattery.
They were supported by the band Broken Hands. Lovely bunch of lads. We purchased their new album ‘Turbulance.’ Its on rotation in the car.
Playing to an empty room with disinterested folk is job satisfaction in a basket ;-0 Seen as a rehearsal performance out of the rehearsal room- Minus the vulgarity, Rainbow Bungle, George and Zippy impressions (making me cough up my ovaries) banter and frolics. Have you seen Bungles Twanger?
So what is the secret of writing songs? Meeting your maker, inspiration, booze,drugs, booze, meditation, luck, structure, key changes, talent, creativity, satanic rituals, sacrifice, alien autopsies, tips from higher powers?
What make a hit? Catchiness, riffs, hooks, hocus pocus, promotion, investment, formula, attractiveness, image.
Sometimes the least favourite song one makes becomes the most popular. They you are stuck with performing it forever more. When even the thought of ever listening to it again in this lifetime makes the black plague seem an easy way out.
Of course you can also get signed (apparently is possible if you tick the criteria they desire yes!) Or use puppets! Sell out, change your sounds, get writers in, sing out of key, try to act hard, hang out with the big bad boys and be opinionated, get moulded, produced, marketed then probably dropped. Never play in your hometown where you were once humble and playing to nobody. But you know what? Puppets have good times!
You can sit or stand there with a guitar, a piano, a thought, a lyric, a loop, a rhythm. As a band we jam. It begins with simply that. Paul on guitar will introduce a riff, or ‘Speed’ our Bassist with come up with a bassline. Drums follow by myself, or begin. PP sings ideas. We have written a song from a vocal. I like to document the process. I’ll be able to take a wonderful trip down memory lane after. I’m unable to show the jam of ‘Razorface’ we made last night..Sorry. We will of course showcase when done.
Songs are sounds, notes, chords, tones, melodies, rhythms. Songs are beauty. Songs are orgasm, Zen, Eden, The Celestine Prophecy, exorcism. They birth Demons. This is how they roll.
How do we do it? We have begun writing our 2nd album…It may be Unusual..It may be Haunting… We are soon to be going into studio for the 2nd session to finish our debut album. Yes 2 sessions = album. Later in 2016 we will record our 2nd EP. ‘The Law.’
We have been playing our instruments for a number of years and practice weekly. Invested. If you invest time and effort you tend to get competent. If you are lucky enough to be gifted. There is your Brucie Bonus! We record live with guide vocal. With some vocal overdubs. Its in the bag. quick, raw easy. Indulgence in lots of instruments is kept for the home studio and solo work. That solo work births songs and ideas. Watch this very space.
From live recordings
To home studio
Go with your flow… be free, in order to do that. Relax and open yourself. Channel the vibes. Like meditation set your intent. Pressure and writer’s block are a curse of the creative. Be inspired by the good and the bad, be inspired by boredom, politics, the news. Pick a chord, hum a melody write a thought, a poem, improvise begin the begin. Make something beautiful for you. Record your favourite song, turn yourself on. Intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus-end. Go crazy change the time signature and key half way through. I found sitting on the toilet scribbling lyrics on bog roll useful. Nowadays the advancement in technology means I can type it or dictate to my phone.
I’m a big improviser. I really do just go with the flow. I experiment with looping a rhythm, playing my acoustic until I like a chord structure. Vocals. I’ve been free flow lyric writing lately. (Writing as a go to listening the track) Whereas years ago I used to mainly write the lyrics first. Write stories, be the protagonist, write the things you can’t speak. Everyone has heard 1000 songs about love lost. Add a twist. Give it a serial killer, write about your crazy surreal dreams. Write about the bitter snooker hall bulldog chewing a wasp, who has caused parking inconvenience. Let the ghost in the machine take hold of your soul and spout out words that pop into your head and come from your hands. Even if they are not in the dictionary! Read stuff, get inspired. Learn a few words. Use the rhyming dictionary.
I scribble A-Z and rhyme to each letter. Even if it makes me dribble. Let it out. Do you think I know what this is about? and I wrote it….;-0
‘Tokyo at Mohive, Chrono las over
Highway a night drive
Molasses in the spring with Olaf
Birds of paradise in the garden
Nephilim in darkness
They shake new world orders
Roll it under, Make it thunder
Break the man in two
Machina took it out on toucan
The words and menopause
The losers in the blue room
Empty wards have active soul wanderers’
In a Band? Just jam ideas, work on them. Play nicely, communicate, compromise. From a seed spawns a song. Dictatorships make for unhappy puppies. If your dictator is a genius? make your choice: Stick with, earn big then have an almighty fall out and make a solo record. Or leave on principle, struggle but be creatively happy. Or just look for the right people. That may mean lots of fails and a few winners. Fate deals its hand too incase you didn’t mind.